Current Federal Funding Landscape

Get updates about the current federal funding landscape, including the state of budget and appropriations and the implications on geoscience.

Need a little background on the budget and appropriations process? Watch our webinar to learn about the budget and appropriations process. Read our blog about our nation’s budgetary framework.

SCIENCE SEES FLAT FUNDING IN SENATE INTERIOR AND ENVIRONMENT SPENDING BILL

(20 NOVEMBER 2017)

 

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY – $1.09 BILLION OR 0% INCREASE FROM FY2017 LEVELS

Mission Area

FY2017

House Proposal for FY2018

Percent Change

Senate Proposal for FY2018

Percent Change

USGS

$1,085.12

$1,038.92

-4.2%

$1,085.17

0.00%

Ecosystems

$159.73

$153.03

-4.2%

$154.10

-3.52%

Climate & Land Use Change

$149.28

$120.60

-19.2%

$147.90

-0.92%

Energy, Minerals, & Environmental Health

$94.31

$96.10

1.90%

$97.50

3.38%

Natural Hazards

$145.01

$141.50

-2.42%

$143.80

-0.83%

Water Resources

$214.75

$210.75

-1.86%

$213.20

-0.72%

Core Science Systems

$116.05

$114.74

-1.13%

$113.60

-2.11%

Science Support

$105.61

$100.33

-5.00%

$102.80

-2.66%

Facilities

$100.42

$94.60

-5.80%

$112.20

11.73%

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions

Notable Provisions:

The Senate I&E FY18 bill funds the United States Geological Survey at $1.085 billion, which is the same as FY 2017.  This is $46 million (6%) more than the House bill, and $163 million (18%) more than the President’s Request. Within USGS, Facilities received the largest increase of 12%. The committee’s explanatory statement states that some of those funds are for the proposed increase “for the Menlo Park facility transition, but remains concerned about the cost of this transition as well as the deteriorating conditions at other facilities”. The committee directed USGS to conduct a facility assessment and report back on the facilities that are in need of repair along with cost estimates and proposals for resolving issues. Energy, Minerals, and Environmental Health also received an increase in funding of 3%. The committee calls for the mission area to focus more heavily on reducing the nation’s dependence on foreign minerals and expresses concerns that “scientific activities are reaching into non-traditional program areas at a rapid pace.”

Ecosystems received the largest cut in the bill, with a 4% decrease in funding. Science Support also received a substantial cut in the Senate I&E bill, with a decrease of 3%, and a significant cut to the information services program. Climate and Land Use Change, however, only received a 1% cut in large contrast to the House bill which cut it by 19% and the President’s Request which cut it by 24%. The reduction was taken “for satellite operations and small program adjustments have been made to fully fund the Landsat system to stay on track with the NASA Landsat operation and plan.”

For more, see the Senate spending bill.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY— $7.9 Billion or 2% Decrease From FY2017 Levels

FY2017 House Proposal for FY2018  Percent Change Senate Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change
Overall $8,058.49 $7,500.00  -6.9%  $7,908.97  -1.7% 
Science & Technology $713.82 $629.24  -11.9%  $634.03  -11.2% 
Environmental Programs & Management $2,619.80 $2,399.84  -8.4%  $2,480.54  -5.3% 

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions 

The Senate Interior & Environment appropriations bill includes funding allocations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Senate bill, which has yet to be considered by the Appropriations Committee, provides significantly more funding than the President’s proposal, which funded the agency at $5.7 billion. However, like the House version, the Senate bill falls short of the FY2017 funding levels.

While not as drastic as the President’s budget, EPA’s Science and Technology programs would still see drastic cuts at roughly 12% reduction under both the House and Senate bills. In line with the House bill and the President’s proposal, the Senate bill agrees with the agency’s proposal to allocate resources for “workforce reshaping through buyouts and voluntary separation agreements offered to employees”.

For more, see the Senate spending bill.

 

House Passes FY18 Omnibus Bill

(14 September)

The House of Representatives passed an omnibus appropriations bill. The omnibus contained 8 funding bills, including funding for EPA, NASA, NOAA, NSF, and USGS.

The Senate has not yet brought any spending bills to the floor. This omnibus combined with the previous 4 bills passed by the House, could become the blueprint for the final FY18 spending bill. The government is currently funded under a continuing resolution (CR), which expires on 8 December 2017. The House and the Senate will have to pass the same version of all 12 bills before 8 December to prevent a government shutdown, making the House bills an easy vehicle for agreement. 

Congress Avoids Government Shutdown, Punts FY18 Funding Decision to December

(8 September)

Following Labor Day, Congress returned from the August district work period and quickly passed a continuing resolution (CR), staving off a government shutdown before the end of the fiscal year (30 September). A CR funds the government at the previous fiscal year’s levels; under a CR agencies cannot begin new programs, or alter or eliminate existing programs. The CR expires on 8 December 2017, so Congress has a couple of months to come together on an FY18 spending package.

For more information about AGU’s FY2018 funding request for our federal science agencies, refer to AGU’s appropriations letter.

 

Science fares a little better in Senate spending bill

(1 August 2017)

 

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION (NOAA)

FY2017 House Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change Senate Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change
Overall $5,675.00 $4,965.67 -12.50% $5,590.29 -1.49%
National Ocean Service (NOS) $521.10 $466.35 -10.51% $537.12 3.07%
Fisheries Service (NMFS) $851.54 $848.03 -0.41% $867.03 1.82%
Oceanic & Atmospheric Research (OAR) $514.13 $474.77 -7.66% $518.73 0.89%
National Weather Service (NWS) $1,121.57 $1,115.98 -0.50% $1,129.28 0.69%
NESDIS $2,203.60 $1,706.30 -22.57% $2,063.30 -6.37%
Mission Support $261.47 $248.67 -4.90% $278.53 6.53%
OMAO $297.93 $227.73 -23.56% $312.95 5.04%

 

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions

Notable Provisions:

The Senate CJS committee reduced overall NOAA funding by 1.5%, which is about $85 million below the FY17 level. While the topline funding saw a slight decrease, most NOAA line offices received increases in funding over FY17 levels. This is because the Senate decreased funding for NOAA’s Procurement, Acquisition, and Construction (PAC) accounts by a significant $131 million. The PAC accounts primarily support NOAA satellites.

In the committee report, the Senate commended NOAA for its efforts in reducing the cost of PAC accounts. According to the report, many of these costs were due to “budget overruns and schedule slips in NOAA’s flagship weather satellite programs, which limited the resources available for NOAA’s other mission areas”. The reduction in PAC accounts “alleviates the strain on other operations and research areas critical to NOAA’s core mission.” This decrease in PAC funding allowed for an increase above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level in NOAA’s Operations, Research, and Facilities (ORF) accounts.

The Senate CJS bill rejects many of the cuts proposed in the President’s budget request. Of note is the restoration of funding to OAR – the Senate provided 48% more funding for OAR than the administration’s request. In fact, OAR received an additional $4.6 million than it did in FY17, supporting NOAA research which spans all line offices. Within OAR, NOAA’s Climate Research program was flat funded by the Senate, also rejecting the 19% cut proposed by the president, and seen in the House bill. In addition, the Senate CJS Bill report states that “the committee flatly rejects the administration’s proposed elimination of NOAA’s Sea Grant program.” In fact, the committee provided an additional $2 million to Sea Grant above FY17 levels.

 

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

FY2017 House Proposal for FY2018  Percent Change Senate Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change
Overall $30,786.01 $27,870.60 -9.5% $31,967.99 2.2%
Office of Science $5,392.00 $5,392.00 0.0% $5,550.0 2.9%
ARPA-E $306.0 -100.0% $330.00 7.8%

*Proposed and enacted funding levels in millions 

The Senate Energy and Water appropriations bill includes funding allocations for the Department of Energy (DOE). The Senate bill, which cleared the Appropriations Committee, is a stark contrast from the House spending bill and the President’s proposal. The Senate bill increases funding for nearly all research programs unlike the House bill and the President’s budget request, which significantly slashed funding for DOE research.

Under the Senate bill, the Office of Science and the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) would be funded at $5.55 billion and $330 million, respectively – record levels for both offices. The Senate bill would also prioritize advanced computing similar to the House bill and in line with President’s priorities. However, the Senate bill seeks to eliminate the U.S. contribution to the ITER project. A recent report under Secretary Moniz suggested that Congress reconsider the U.S. contribution to this project.

Overall, the Senate bill clearly rejects the President’s proposal to cut programs in favor of a shifting the focus of DOE to early-stage research by stating in the bill, “The [Senate Appropriations] Committee believes that such an approach will not successfully integrate the results of early-stage research and development into the U.S. energy system and thus will not adequately deliver innovative energy technologies, practices, and information to American consumers and companies.” However, while research faired pretty well in the Senate bill, the applied energy programs at DOE saw cuts, though less severe than the President’s budget request.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION – $7.3 BILLION OR 2% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

FY 2017 House Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change Senate 

Proposal for

FY 2018

Percent Change
Overall $7,472.22 $7,300 -2.30% $7,311.08 -2.16%
Research & Related Activities $6,033.65 $6,033.65 0.00% $5,917.80 -1.92%

*NSF budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

Overall, the Senate spending bill reduces funding for NSF by $161 million and splits that cut between the Research and Related Activities account, which provides funding for NSF’s directorates, including the Geoscience Directorate; the Education and Human Resources account, and the Major Research Equipment & Facilities account.

Within the Research and Related Activities account, the Senate committee report specifically calls out the value of scientific facilities and instrumentation, the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), VORTEX-SE, Ice Sheet Instability, and Fire Research.

Within NSF’s Major Research Equipment & Facilities account, the spending bill includes the President’s full funding request for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), as well the funding requested for planning and constructing three Regional Class Research Vessels (RCRV).

The committee report also expresses concern that NSF-funded research facilities require an increasingly large percentage of the research and related activities account. The National Science Board is working on a report on how to address this issue as directed by the fiscal year 2017 spending bill.

For more, see the Senate spending bill and committee report.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION – $19.5 BILLION OR AN ALMOST 1% DECREASE FROM FY2017 levels

FY 2017

 

House Proposal for FY2018 Percent Change Senate 

Proposal for

FY 2018

Percent Change
Overall $19,653.30 $19,900.00 1.26% $19,500.00 -0.78%
Science Mission Directorate $5,765.90 $5,858.50 1.61% $5,571.80 -3.37%

*NASA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

Overall, NASA fared okay in the Senate spending bill, receiving a less than 1% increase in funding; the Science Mission Directorate received a 3.37% decrease, with some divisions doing better than others.

Within the Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science received flat funding from fiscal year 2017 in the Senate spending bill. The budget does provide the full President’s budget request for Landsat 9 to support a 2020 launch. The spending bill also instructs NASA to pursue the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud and ocean Ecosystem (PACE), CLARREO Pathfinder, OCO-3, and Deep Space Climate Observatory missions as well as the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperature Radar.

The Senate spending bill decreases funding Planetary Science by $234 million. The bill includes funding for Mars Exploration and Near Earth Object Observations, including at least fiscal year 2017 level funding for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) in support of the Congressional mandated goal of NASA being able to detect and characterize at least 90% of potentially hazardous near Earth objects 140 meters or larger by 2020.

The James Webb Space Telescope received a planned decrease in funding in preparation for its launch in 2018.

NASA’s Heliophysics Division received a $10 million or almost 1.5% bump. The Senate committee report directs NASA to implement a 2-year cadence of alternating Small Explorer (SMEX) and Mid-sized Explorer (MIDEX) missions and a regular selection of missions of opportunity (MOs). The report also supports the implementation of Diversify, Realize, Integrate, Venture, Educate (DRIVE) initiative. The committee also provides $10 million for a space weather research program.

The Senate spending bill also provides $100 million for the NASA Education Office, the same level of funding the office received in fiscal year 2017.

For more, see the Senate spending bill and committee report.

House spending bill would make detrimental cuts to science in FY2018  

(20 July 2017)

Check back for more details about the appropriations process.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – $28.0 BILLION OR 10% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY2017 Omnibus House FY2018 Spending Bill Percent Change FY2018 House Bill vs FY2017 Omnibus
Overall $30,786.01 $27,870.60 -9.5%
Office of Science $5,392.00 $5,392.00  0.0%
ARPA-E $306.00 $0 -100%
Biological & Environmental Research $612.00 $582.00 -4.9%
Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy $2,090.20 $1,103.91 -47.2%

*DOE budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest thousand

Notable Provisions:

The House bill would reduce the Department of Energy’s (DOE) overall budget by nearly 10% from FY2017 funding levels. While the cuts are more subdued compared to those proposed in the President’s budget, DOE research programs would still face detrimental cuts under the House bill.

The Office of Science overall would receive flat funding with programs receiving more and less funding compared to FY2017 levels. Programs under the Office of Science that would see increases include the Advanced Scientific Computing Research, which is a priority for the Administration, and Fusion Energy Research. While the Workforce Development program would see flat funding under the House bill, the Basic Energy Science and Biological and Environmental Research programs would see cuts. Additionally, funding for science laboratory infrastructure would be cut by nearly 20%, which would greatly impact our country’s national laboratories.

Offices that would be see even more significant cuts, include the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) program, which would be reduced by almost 50% and eliminated completely, respectively.  Interestingly, at the committee hearing to consider the bill, Chairman Simpson specifically stated that the Department should not make any funding decisions based on the House bill, particularly in the case of ARPA-E which is slated for elimination. Rightly so. As the Chairman mentioned, the House bill is not law. The Senate will need to pass their spending bills and both chambers will likely need to come together to reconcile differences before any spending bills will become law.

For more, see the Energy and Water spending bill report, which includes DOE funding, here.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION – $19.87 BILLION OR 1% INCREASE FROM FY2017 levels

Program FY17 Omnibus House FY18 Spending Bill Percent Change FY18 House Bill vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $19,653.30 $19,871.83 1.26%
Overall Science $5,765.90 $5,858.50 1.61%
Earth Science $1,921.00 $1,704.00 -11.30%
Planetary Science $1,846.00 $2,120.90 14.89%
Heliophysics $678.50 $677.90 -0.09%
James Webb Space Telescope $569.40 $533.70 -6.27%
Education $100 $90.00 -10.00%

*NASA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

Overall, NASA did fairly well in the House spending bill, receiving a more than 1% increase in funding, the Science Mission Directorate received a corresponding increase in funding. Although this level of funding is not enough to keep up with inflation, in a year where most science agencies saw cuts, NASA was fairly unharmed in the House spending bill.

Within the Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science Mission was hit especially hard in the House spending bill, the proposed amount is even less than the President’s budget. The budget does provide the full President’s budget request for Landsat 9 in support of a 2020 launch and for data continuity. The budget also provides the full request for the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperature Radar mission.

The House spending bill increases funding Planetary Science by $274 million and includes funding a balanced mix of Discovery, New Frontiers and flagship missions. The bill includes money for a Jupiter flyby mission and lander, the Mars 2020 Mission, asteroid detection and deflection missions, and Lucy and Psyche missions with the Discovery program.

The James Webb Space Telescope received a planned decrease in funding in preparation for it’s launch in 2018.

NASA’s Heliophysics Division escapes relatively unscathed with a $600,000 cut in funding.

The House spending bill also maintains the NASA Education Office, but with a $10 million cut in funding for the office.

For more, see the House spending bill and committee report.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION – $4.97 BILLION OR 13% DECREASE FROM FY2017 SPENDING LEVELS

Program FY2017 Omnibus House FY2018 Spending Bill Percent Change FY2018 House Bill vs FY2017 Omnibus
Overall $5,675.00 $4,965.67 -12.50%
National Ocean Service (NOS) $521.10 $466.35 -10.51%
National Marine and Fisheries Service (NMFS) $851.54 $848.03 -0.41%
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) $514.13 $474.77 -7.66%
National Weather Service (NWS) $1,121.57 $1,115.98 -0.50%
NESDIS $2,203.60 $1,706.30 -22.57%
Mission Support $261.47 $248.67 -4.90%
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations $297.93 $227.73 -23.56%

*NOAA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

NOAA received a substantial 13% cut in the House FY2018 spending bill. While this spending decrease doesn’t fulfill the President’s request of a 16% cut, the House bill still includes debilitating cuts to the agency.

The largest cuts were distributed to NESDIS (-23%), NOAA’s satellite line office, and the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (-24%), which runs programs such as the NOAA Corps and Hurricane Hunters.

Also of note, NOAA’s office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, which is responsible for funding NOAA research, received an 8% cut in the bill. Within OAR, the Climate Research Program received $128 million, or a 19%, which was the President Trump’s requested funding level. While Representative Cartwright offered an amendment during the CJS mark-up to restore Climate Research Program funding to FY17 levels, the amendment was not agreed to.

The bill also directs NOAA to “purchase services from the private sector when such services are cost effective, reliable and available,” aligning with efforts to encourage the agency to increase engagement with private partnerships.

Several of President Trump’s budget requests were not fulfilled, such as elimination of the Office of Education, as well as requested reductions for Tsunami Warning Centers, the Mesonet program, or the VORTEX-SE program.

Finally, the bill funds several initiatives and priorities that were included in the recent Weather Research Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017, such as Weather an Air Chemistry Research and NOAA’s Joint Technology Transfer Initiative.

For more, see the Commerce, Justice, Science report, which includes funding levels for NOAA, here.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION – $7.3 BILLION OR 2% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY17 Omnibus House FY18 Spending Bill Percent Change FY18 House Bill vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $7,472.22 $7,300.00 -2.30%
Research & Related Activities $6,033.65 $6,033.65 0.00%
Education & Human Resources $880.00 $880.00 0.00%
Major Research Equipment & Facilities $209.00 $77.80 -62.78%
National Science Board $4.37 $4.37 0.00%
Office of Inspector General $15.20 $15.20 0.00%
Agency Operations & Award Management $330.00 $328.51 -0.45%

*NSF budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

Overall, the House spending bill reduces funding for NSF by $172 million but maintains flat funding for the Research and Related Activities account, which provides funding for NSF’s directorates, including the Geoscience Directorate.

The House bill restates language from the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability within NSF’s merit review process.

NSF’s Major Research Equipment & Facilities account absorbs much of the cut to NSF, with the account being cut by around $131 million. The House directs NSF to devote much of the allocated funding to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), and the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernization for Science program. No mention is made of the Regional Class Research Vessels (RCRV) project.

The Education and Human Resources account receives flat funding. Within the account, the House prioritizes STEM focused K-12 schools, the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, programs aimed at broadening STEM participation, Innovation Corps, and cybersecurity research.

For more, see the House spending bill and committee report.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY – $7.5 BILLION OR 7% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY2017 Omnibus House FY2018 Spending Bill Percent Change FY2018 House Bill vs FY2017 Omnibus
Overall $8,058.49 $7,500.00 -6.9%
Science & Technology $713.82 $629.24 -11.9%
Environmental Programs & Management $2,619.80 $2,399.84 -8.4%

*EPA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

The House bill would provide $7.5 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency, a nearly 7% decrease compared to FY2017 levels and about 30% above the President’s budget request.

While not as drastic as the President’s budget, the agency’s Science and Technology programs would still see drastic cuts at roughly 12% reduction under the House bill, including cuts to research in the Air and Energy, Water Resources, Community Sustainability, and Chemical Safety programs.

The House bill also supports the President’s budget, which sought to create a leaner federal workforce by reducing FTE (full time equivalents) by almost 25% in FY2018. In the Science & Technology programs alone, the House allocates over $79 million for voluntary separations and buy-outs.

For more, see the Interior and Environment report, which includes funding levels for EPA, here.

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY – $1.04 BILLION OR 4% DECREASE FROM FY2017 SPENDING LEVELS

Program FY2017 Omnibus House FY2018 Spending Bill Percent Change FY2018 House Bill vs FY2017 Omnibus
Overall $1,085.12 $1,038.92 -4.26%
Ecosystems $159.73 $153.03 -4.19%
Climate & Land Use Change $149.28 $120.60 -19.21%
Energy, Minerals, & Environmental Health $94.31 $96.10 1.90%
Natural Hazards $145.01 $141.50 -2.42%
Water Resources $214.75 $210.75 -1.86%
Core Science Systems $116.05 $114.74 -1.13%
Admin & Enterprise Information (Science Support) $105.61 $100.33 -5.00%
Facilities $100.42 $94.60 -5.80%

*USGS budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

As was the case with most other science agencies, the House Interior and Environment spending bill didn’t cut USGS as drastically as the President’s request. Overall, USGS received a 4% decrease in the House Interior Appropriations Bill, which funds the agency at $1 billion. Additionally, nearly every mission area received substantial cuts.

The largest cut was in the Land Resources mission area, formerly known as Climate and Land Use Change. Land Resources received a debilitating 19% cut from FY17 levels, which includes a 31% cut from regional Climate Science Centers.

The House bill report also highlights concerns about the economic, ecologic, and health threats posed by invasive species such as Asian Carp and offers support for the continuation of “USGS research on understanding the prevalence of toxins in the nation’s water” order to understand harmful algal blooms.

The only mission area to receive an increase in funding, while small, was Energy, Minerals and Environmental Health. It received a 2% bump from FY17 levels in the House spending bill.

For more, see the Interior and Environment report, which includes funding levels for USGS, here.

 

 

Drastic Cuts to Science in President’s More Detailed FY2018 Budget (24 May 2017)

Check back for more details about the President’s budget.

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY – $28.0 BILLION OR 9% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program

FY17 Omnibus

FY18 President’s Budget Request

Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus

Overall

$30,786.01

$28,042.00 -8.91%

Office of Science

$5,392.00

$4,472.52

-17.1%

ARPA-E

$306.00

$20.00

-108%*

Biological & Environmental Research

$612.00

$349.00

-43.0%

Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

$2,090.20

$636.15

-69.6%

*DOE budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest thousand


Notable Provisions
:

The President’s budget proposes an overall reduction of 9% from FY2017 for DOE. However, most research programs will see more drastic cuts under the Administration’s plan.

The Office of Science would see a 17% reduction under the President’s budget, including cuts to the Basic energy Sciences (BES) program, the Biological and Environmental Research program, and Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS). However, the Advanced Scientific Computing Research program would receive about a 9% increase over FY2017.

The budget also phases out the Advanced Research Project Agency –  Energy (ARPA-E), which was zeroed out in the budget blueprint. The budget allocates $20 million to manage on-going projects through completion by FY2021 and close the office.

The Fossil Energy and Development (FER&D) program will also see significant cuts under the Administration’s plan – at 58.1% reduction. Particularly facing cuts in FER&D are carbon capture and storage subprograms. Additionally, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will also face massive cuts, a reduction of nearly $1.5 billion from FY2017. In contrast to these proposed cuts, the National Nuclear Security Administration at DOE would receive additional funds under the President’s budget.

Overall, the budget estimates that the Department of Energy will support over 27,000 people in FY 2018.

For more, see the DOE budget highlights and full budget request here.

*The budget requests -$26 million due to a $20 million allocation and a cancellation of $46 million

Environmental Protection Agency – $5.7 BILLION OR 31% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY17 Omnibus FY18 President’s Budget Request Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $8,058.49 $5,700.00 -29.27%
Science and Technology $713.82 $397.00 -44.38%
Environmental Programs and Management $2,619.80 $1,617.00 -38.28%

*EPA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest thousand

Notable Provisions:

The President’s budget proposes an overall reduction in EPA funding by 31% relative to FY2017.

The agency’s Science and Technology programs would see nearly a 45% reduction under the President’s budget, including cuts to research in the Air and Energy, Water Resources, Community Sustainability, and Chemical Safety programs.

The President’s budget also seeks to create a leaner federal workforce by reducing FTE (full time equivalents) by almost 25% in FY2018.

For more, see the EPA budget highlights and full budget request here.

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION – $19.05 BILLION OR 3.0% DECREASE FROM FY2017 levels

Program FY17 Omnibus FY18 President’s Budget Request Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $19,653.30 $19,052.90 -3.05%
Overall Science $5,765.90 $5,711.80 -0.94%
Earth Science $1,921.00 $1,754.10 -8.69%
Planetary Science $1,846.00 $1,929.50 4.52%
Heliophysics $678.50 $677.80 -0.10%
James Webb Space Telescope $569.40 $533.70 -6.27%
Education $100 $37.30 -62.7%

*NASA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

The President’s budget officially terminates the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which was unpopular with Congress, but continues many of the key technologies in development for the mission.

Within the Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science Mission was hit especially hard in the President’s budget. The budget calls for the termination of 5 Earth science missions, including: PACE, OCO-3, RBI, DSCOVR Earth-viewing instruments, and CLARREO Pathfinder. The budget does provide funding for Landsat 9, and the accelerated FY 2021 launch.

The President’s budget provides full funding for a Jupiter flyby mission, the 2018 launch of InSight, the Mars 2020 Mission, and the Discovery Asteroid missions, Lucy and Psyche.

The James Webb Space Telescope received a planned decrease in funding in preparation for it’s launch in 2018.

Within Heliophysics, the budget does propose full funding for the Solar Probe Plus and the Solar Orbiter Collaboration.

The budget also proposes the elimination of the NASA Education Office, with the proposed funding being used to phase out the office by 2019. This is sure to receive strong pushback from Congress, who appropriated $100 million for the office earlier this month.

For more, see the NASA budget highlights and full budget request here.

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION  $6.65  BILLION OR 11% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY17 Omnibus FY18 President’s Budget Request Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $7,472.22 $6,652.89 -10.96%
Research & Related Activities $6,033.65 $5,361.65 -11.14%
Education & Human Resources $880.00 $760.55 -13.57%
Major Research Equipment & Facilities $209.00 $182.80 -12.54%
National Science Board $4.37 $4.37 0.00%
Office of Inspector General $15.20 $15.01 -1.25%
Agency Operations & Award Management $330.00 $328.51 -0.45%

*NSF budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions:

In line with the 11% decrease in funding for NSF overall, the Geosciences Directorate received a 10.6% decrease in funding.

In accordance with a decision made by the National Science Board (NSB) and NSF last year, the Office of Polar Programs was removed from the Geosciences Directorate and restored to the Director’s office.

Within the Directorate, areas of major investment including: Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER), Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES), Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE), and Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) received decreases in funding.  However, increases in funding were proposed for the Innovations at the Nexus of the Food, Energy, Water System (INFEWS)  and the Risk and Resilience programs.

The president’s budget proposes to cut facilities within the Geosciences Directorate by 15.1%; including an almost 15% cut for the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and a 43.6% cut for the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

Overall, the budget estimates that the Geosciences Directorate will support 11,900 people or 689 less than in FY 2016.

For more, see the NSF budget highlights and full budget request here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION – $4.78 BILLION OR 16% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

NOAA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million: 
Program FY17 Omnibus FY18 President’s Budget Request Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $5,675.00 4,775.30 -15.85% 
National Ocean Service (NOS) $521.10 $387.00 -25.73%
National Marine and Fisheries Service (NMFS) $851.54 $821.00 -3.59% 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) $514.13 $350.00 -31.92% 
OAR Climate Research Program $158.00 $128.00 -18.99%
National Weather Service (NWS) $1,121.57 $1,059.00 -5.58%
NESDIS $2,203.60 $1,816.00 -17.59%
Mission Support $261.47 $234.00 -10.51%
Office of Marine and Aviation Operations $297.93 $300.68 0.92%

*NOAA budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions: 

NOAA’s topline budget received a 16% cut in President Trump’s budget request, aligning with previous messaging around his skinny budget that was released in March.

NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) saw the largest percentage cut in the proposal, with a decrease of 32%. Within OAR, NOAA’s Climate Research program received a 19% cut. This is particularly notable because last Congress, the House CJS Bill also called for approximately a 20% cut, but that funding was restored in the FY17 Omnibus. Within OAR’s Climate Research program, the budget called for the elimination of Arctic Research.

The National Ocean Service (NOS) also received a substantial 26% cut in the budget. Additionally, the Administration proposed the elimination of the Sea Grant Program, which provides research opportunities and partnerships with 33 universities.

Also of note was an 18% cut in NOAA’s Satellite Division, NESDIS. Some of that is due to planned reductions as programs ramp down, such as the GOES-R satellite series. However, NOAA’s new generation of polar orbiting satellites received substantial cuts that were not planned. The JPSS-1 satellite is set to launch in September 2017, followed by JPSS-2 and the Polar Follow On (JPSS-3 and 4). While the PFO received $329 million in FY17, and was projected to require $586 million in FY18, President Trump’s FY18 request was only for $180 million. Additionally, projections for the next 4 years were shown as “TBD” in the president’s budget.

Also in NESDIS, the President’s budget called for decreases for NOAA’s plans to replace its Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). The FY17 omnibus called for initiating a Space Weather Follow-on for two satellites following DSCOVR, and allocated $5 million for this initiative. In the FY17 bill, Congress projected that the Space Weather Follow-on receive $53.7 million in FY18. However, the administration has proposed only $500,000 for the follow-on program in FY18. This is especially notable because the Senate just passed the bipartisan Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, with the goal of improving space weather forecasting.

For more, see the NOAA budget highlights and full budget request here.

UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY – $922 MILLION OR 15% DECREASE FROM FY2017 FUNDING LEVELS

Program FY17 Omnibus FY18 President’s Budget Request Percent Change FY18 Request vs FY17 Omnibus
Overall $1,085.12 $922.17 -15.02% 
Ecosystems $159.73 $132.13 -17.28% 
Climate & Land Use Change $149.28 $112.85 -24.41% 
Energy, Minerals, & Environmental Health $94.31 $91.51 -2.97% 
Natural Hazards $145.01 $118.11 -18.55% 
Water Resources $214.75 $173.04 -19.42%
Core Science Systems $116.05 $92.97 -19.89% 
Admin & Enterprise Information (Science Support) $105.61 $89.37 -15.38% 
Facilities $100.42 $112.19 11.72%

*USGS budget in millions of dollars, rounded to the nearest million

Notable Provisions

USGS’ topline budget saw a 15% cut in President Trump’s FY18 budget request. The largest cut came out of the Land Resources mission area, which also received a title change from its previous name, “Climate and Land Use Change”. Land Resources, which oversees the agency’s climate change research and Earth observation and manages the USGS’ remote sensing programs,  saw a decrease of 24% in the Trump budget.

The budget request also would eliminate the program’s climate research activities, including research into how land-use change is affecting global greenhouse gas emissions. Models or data sets tracking how landscapes, wildlife, and fisheries are being affected by climate change would be killed.

Core Science Systems received a 20% cut in the administration’s FY18 request, followed by a 19% cut to Natural Hazards and Water Resources.

The budget request would eliminate the USGS Geomagnetism Program (a $1.9 million/year program with 12 full-time equivalent employee positions and which supports the operation of 14 magnetic observatories in the United States and Territories).

Additionally, the USGS Ecosystem mission saw a 17% cut followed by a 15% cut to Science Support.

The only portion of the USGS budget which would see an increase in the FY18 President’s budget request was facilities, which received a bump of 12% in the request.

For more, see the USGS budget highlights and full budget request here.

President Releases Skinny Budget for FY2018 (16 March 2017)

The numbers included below are in comparison to current funding levels, which are those that were passed in the most recent omnibus spending bill.

The White House recently released its budget proposing the following cuts:

  • DOE: The Administration indicates that it would invest in “high” priority basic research and development, while also “saving” $900 million in the Office of Science. “High priority” basic research is not defined, and the process for saving $900 million (i.e., elimination of programs) is unclear.
  • NASA: The Administration indicates that NASA should eliminate the Pre-Aerosol, Clouds, and Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Earth science mission, a mission recommended in the last Earth Science decadal survey by the National Research Council. Through its instrumentation suite, PACE will help monitor oil spills and the detection of harmful algal blooms. These blooms have a significant negative impact on ocean ecology, human health, and fisheries that support the economies of the Gulf and lower Atlantic states.
  • NSF: 93% of funding for NSF goes to directly funding investigator-led research, institutions, and STEM initiatives. An almost 10% cut to NSF will result in fewer research opportunities for our next generation of STEM professionals; the decline of scientific endeavors in the unique Antarctic environment; and less likelihood that the next transformational scientific discovery, such as the potential of shale oil and gas or GPS, will be an American discovery.
  • NOAA: The proposed budget would cut the Department of Commerce, which contains NOAA, by $1.5 billion. While there has not yet been an official topline budget number requested for the agency, the budget does call for concerning cuts to NOAA programs. Specifically, a $250 million cut to grants and programs supporting coastal and marine management, research, and education, including Sea Grant. The Administration states that these programs are a “lower priority than core functions maintained in the budget such as surveys, charting, and fisheries management.” The budget also seeks to maintain development of the GOES-R and JPSS satellite programs, while potentially cutting funding for the Polar Follow On program with the intention of “reflecting the actual risk of a gap in polar satellite coverage,” and expanding the utilization of commercially provided data. Finally, the budget includes an investment of “more than $1 billion” for the National Weather Service. Currently, the NWS has a budget of $1.12 billion, so this language could imply as much as a 10% cut, flat funding, or a budget increase.
  • USGS: The budget provides “more than $900 million” for USGS “to focus investments in essential science programs,” including the Landsat 9 ground system, and research and data collection that informs sustainable energy development, responsible resource management, and natural hazard risk reduction. This would be the lowest funding level for USGS since 2002.

The Administration’s proposed budget is not only detrimental to decades of scientific research and progress but will also negatively impact the safety, security, health, and economic well-being of citizens around the globe, including millions within the United States.  Read AGU’s response to the President’s Budget Blueprint here.

 

Actions You Can Take:

  • Visit AGU’s Policy Action Center to write your members of Congress about the critical importance of science agencies to progress, innovation, and serving the basic needs of the American public.
  • Schedule  setting up meetings with your members of Congress
  • Share the value of your science on our everyday lives with your community or share your story with us.

Past fiscal years:

FY2017

FY2016

FY2015